Yachtsman Steakhouse

It was just a short walk to the restaurant where I would have my first meal of the trip, since it is located right next door at the Beach Club’s sister resort, the Yacht Club.

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My first restaurant choice to kick off my trip may come as a surprise to those who have read my last two dining reports. In case you are new to my reports though, I will explain that Yachtsman Steakhouse and I have developed somewhat of a love/hate relationship over the four years since we first met. If you had asked me my opinion of YSH just one year ago, I would have sung its praises. At that time, it ranked second only to California Grill as my favorite WDW restaurant. But then came my Dec. ’13 dinner there with a DIS group of 11 which was not a great dining experience. The food was okay, but the service was painfully slow and our server seemed quite frazzled. While this shook my faith in YSH, I blamed it on the inability of our server to handle a large group of people. Therefore I was happy to join a smaller group of DIS friends at their dinner at YSH during my April 2014 trip to the World. Although we again had the same server, I assumed that our group of only 5 should not be a problem for an experienced waiter at a signature restaurant. Well, you are probably familiar with that quote, “You should never assume. You know what happens when you assume. You make an a$$ out of you and me.” ;) But to make matters worse…much worse, our food was bad. None of our steaks were properly cooked, much of our food was over salted, and one of our group received a piece of beef that strongly resembled an old leather shoe. Although most of the cost for this meal was later refunded (thanks to Paula further pursuing the issue), this dinner still left a bad taste in my mouth…literally. But despite this I felt that I should give Yachtsman one last chance before writing it off, and so that is how it came to be that I again found myself peering through this window…

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I arrived pretty much on time for my 5:10 ADR (the restaurant opens at 5:00) and saw that the restaurant was still nearly empty…

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So what do you suppose were the chances that I would be seated at one of the few tables which was serviced by the one waiter who I did not want? Yes, you guessed it. I was seated at a two-top and told that my server would be, “He who shall not be named”. {Note to self: Never leave things to chance} Surprising both me and the maitre d’, I then heard myself politely requesting a different server. He excused himself for a minute and then returned to uproot and lead me to a table in one of the back corners of the restaurant…

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Though this felt a little like “the walk of shame”, in the end I believe that my decision to “rock the boat” (or in this case, the yacht ;)) was justifiable. In order to give YSH a fair shake, I needed to somehow break the “downward spiral” pattern which had developed over my last two visits there and it was my hope that having a different server might be enough to do that.

And speaking of old patterns, I’ve always ordered the same entree during my seven previous visits to YSH so I considered changing things up this time and trying something else from this menu…

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I thought about ordering the White Gulf Shrimp but I was determined to have room for dessert this time, so I opted to just have one of the delicious YSH onion rolls as my appetizer…

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Oh, and don’t forget the salted butter and roasted garlic…Mmmm!

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And I also started with my usual beverage here, Iced Tea.

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What makes this better than your common ordinary glass of freshly brewed tea is that it is served with a small pitcher of simple syrup, making it quite easy to transform the ordinary into an extraordinary glass of deliciously sweet tea. :thumbsup2

Now for the moment of truth, and the truth is that I couldn’t bring myself to order any other entree here than the…

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8 oz. Black Angus Filet Mignon with Cabernet Wine Sauce and served with Mashed Potatoes

And I’m happy to report that this time my filet was properly cooked to the medium temperature which I requested and was absolutely delicious! The meat was very tender and well-seasoned and the red wine sauce complemented it perfectly. My one minor criticism was that the mashed potatoes were over salted so I didn’t enjoy them quite as much as I usually do. While they were still buttery and good, they would have been great if only the chef had not been so heavy handed with his salt shaker. ;)

But since I did not eat all of my mashed potatoes, I had further justification for ordering dessert…

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I’ve had both the Creme Brulee and the Yachtsman Sundae before and both were good. But I was happy to see that the best dessert that I’ve had at YSH was still on their menu…

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Chocolate-Peanut Cake with Pretzels, Liquid Ganache, and Salted Caramel Gelato

While the cake is pretty tasty, my favorite part of this dessert is actually the salted caramel gelato…YUM!! :goodvibes

So instead of three strikes you’re out, Yachtsman led off with nearly a home run to kick off my 14 days of Disney dining. With the exception of the mashed potatoes, the food was great and the service was much improved. Much to my surprise, this meal actually ended up being among my favorite dinners of the trip. Consequently, Yachtsman Steakhouse is once again in my good graces…for now anyway. ;)

 

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